Minister quits and Clegg talks drugs - the papers

The resignation of immigration minister Mark Harper after his cleaner was found to be working in Britain illegally leads several of Sunday's newspapers.

Elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tells the Observer he wants to break "tradition" of serving politicians steering clear of the drugs debate by opening up a discussion on the need for reform.

The Mail on Sunday claims to have an exclusive interview with Coronation Street star Bill Roache after he was cleared of sex offences this week.

Lastly, there's a striking image of a skin cell - magnified enormously- on the front of the Independent on Sunday to illustrate a story about a possible "miracle cure" for diseases such as Parkinson's.

Discussing the ongoing coverage of the flooding in the papers for the BBC News Channel, Clarke Carlisle, football commentator and broadcaster, said: "There's a theory about having a saturation, people becoming tired and it becoming old news.

"But this is an area that's been under water now for literally months and we can't let that just pass away from our consciousness."

On the resignation of Mark Harper, broadcaster Lynn Faulds Wood said: "He had to go. He is expecting other people, like landlords and employers, to check papers under the immigration bill."

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Image caption Princess Cristina became the first member of Spain's royal family to appear in court as the subject of a criminal investigation

Go home Harper

"Humiliating for the government" - that's the Sun on Sunday's verdict on Mark Harper being forced to quit his post. It says the Tories must "get a grip" on the issue of immigration "which will be a key election battleground".

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Image caption The man behind the van: Mark Harper came up with the much-maligned Home Office "go home" vans

The Sunday Mirror compares the situation to a plotline in political satire The Thick Of It. It is also one of a number of papers to pick up on the fact that Mr Harper was the man behind the now infamous "Go Home" vans targeting illegal immigrants.

The Sunday People says that within hours of his resignation, a website - Political Scrapbook - mocked up a spoof ad with his face on the side of a van, captioned, "Text RESIGN" for "free help clearing your desk".

"He was seen as a safe, solid choice when he was appointed immigration minister in 2012," thinks the Sunday Times, and has been steering the controversial Immigration Bill through Parliament. "Now Harper appears to have fallen victim to exactly the obligations that he is seeking to impose" in the piece of legislation, it adds.

"If Mr Harper was telling other people to 'go home', shouldn't he have gone home and checked that his cleaner was squeaky clean?" asks Iain Martin, in the Sunday Telegraph.

Flooding blame game

From one headache for David Cameron to another - criticism of the government's handling of the floods continues in some papers.

The Daily Star Sunday says the response has been "late and many dollars short". It says it has learned that "rows between government departments meant much-needed military support was slow in coming".

Commenting on the death of a boy in Surrey, possibly poisoned by fumes from a pump being used to clear his flooded home, the Sunday Mirror says it is "an absolute scandal" that the official response has been "so poor". It says the tragedy of Zane Gbangola's death "should spur them into action".

"The problem has been short-termism and tinkering," thinks Tobias Jones, a warden at a residential home in Somerset, writing in the Observer. Richard Benyon, "the minister who had mastered his flooding brief over the previous two and a half years, was suddenly ousted in a reshuffle in 2013".

The Sunday Express has a very specific suggestion of how the government could help. It wants ministers to cut the VAT on any repair bills down to 5%, to ensure the taxman doesn't "add to the misery" of those whose homes have been ruined.

Finally, the Mail on Sunday focuses on the much-maligned Environment Agency. It believes the main problem is that it has "two conflicting responsibilities - to drain land and encourage wildlife habitats". It feels that "in this era of green zealotry... it is no surprise" that the latter has taken priority.

Case closed?

Several papers feature interviews with William Roache or his friends, while others take a broader look at the issue of sex offences trials in general.

Carole Malone, in the Sunday Mirror, says it's time to consider anonymity for those accused until they are convicted. She suggests there are accusers "who don't even care if the man is acquitted because they know that just dragging him through the courts will damage him forever". "It is perfectly possible to have a fair trial with anonymity," she adds.

Another suggestion for reform comes from Carol McGiffin in the Sunday People. She suggests "a time limit on making a complaint", because "pressing charges sooner rather than later when there's a chance of some solid evidence and accurate recall would surely help [the women's] cause."

On a related note, Tim Rayment and Sharon Feinstein, in the Sunday Times, wonder if, in general, we should "judge by the standards of today things that happened 40 or 50 year ago". "Our ideas of what constitutes a sex crime have changed," they add.

Elsewhere, Joan Smith, in the Independent on Sunday, offers support to the prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, who brought the case against Roache. "Traduced" for that decision, he was previously praised "for his tenacity" in pursuing the Rochdale grooming case. She says the accusers in Roache's case "had a right to have their allegations tested in court, just as much as the young women who accused nine British-Asian men in Rochdale".

Rachel Johnson, in the Mail on Sunday, finally, worries that "high-profile acquittals will make it even harder for civilians in their search for justice". "Even if victims report the crimes at the time... most are still on an emotionally shattering, expensive, hiding to nothing," she adds.

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Image caption Images of a derailed train, hit by a boulder in the French Alps, appear in many of Sunday's papers

Political snippets

The Sunday Express quotes a "senior insider" who claims Business Secretary Vince Cable is "the key stumbling block" on the road to changing laws on strike ballots - particularly to require at least a 50% turnout from union voters. The issue has been given greater importance this week by major tube strikes in London.

"It must surely be the job of a business secretary, even a Lib Dem one, to bolster our economy, not capitulate to the self-interest of a bully-boy union boss," the Express says.

"We say we want conviction politicians. Until they upset the applecart." Those are the words of Camilla Cavendish, in the Sunday Times, talking about her friend Michael Gove, who is under fire almost weekly for his education reforms.

In an impassioned defence, she writes: "He doesn't mind being disliked. He is genuinely changing the game... He is a one-nation Tory who care passionately about the poor... And the truth is he is winning: school gate mothers may mutter, but they agree he is right to raise standards."

Ahead of the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election this week, David Goodhart, in the Independent on Sunday, considers the likely increase in votes that UKIP will post. The party's rise, he thinks, is not just "a convenient vehicle for a grumpy protest vote", but also "a reaction to the overprofessionalisation and overcentralisation of politics in London and Brussels".

If UKIP come second it will be the fifth by-election in a row in which they have done so - something Matthew d'Ancona, in the Sunday Telegraph, warns will send "a spasm of fear... through the Tory movement".

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Image caption Jamie Nicholls, one of Britain's two finalists in the snowboard slopestyle final in Sochi, does his stuff

Making people click

Observer - Flappy Bird at risk of extinction as developer 'cannot take this anymore'

Mail on Sunday - Britain's most tragic flood victim: Boy, 7, is killed by poisonous gas in pump used to drain house as rescuers find family unconscious

Sunday Mirror - Arsene Wenger is snapped falling over on return from Liverpool match as day turns from bad to worse

Independent on Sunday - UK weather: No respite from storms set to continue into next week